Hello everyone and happy book birthday to Jen Doll for Unclaimed Baggage!🎉🎉🎉 It is out TODAY! For my blog stop I am going to talk about summer job nightmares I encountered during my retail experience and a little on why I loved this book! It’s definitely in the top 3 favorite contemporary reads for 2018. I’d love to hear your horror stories in the comments!
“What the”….summer job moments
If you’ve ever worked retail you know some crazy stuff goes down at those stores. I think the biggest summer nightmare moment I ever had was when I worked at a GAP Outlet the summer after my first year of college.
I was just working the floor, folding clothes, helping customers, stocking the shelves…you know, a normal day. But then we rotated who worked the dressing room area and it was my turn. I went down the hallway where our 8 changing rooms were to double check to see if anyone left clothes behind in the stalls.
Then I saw it.
UNDERNEATH the bench in the stall.
But it wasn’t just on the floor under the bench, it was UP THE WALL from floor to the bench. I took a double take and then was so confused. Like, HOW did that person do that??? WHY would they do that?? We had bathrooms!!! It was shocking, gross and still haunts me today. I honestly don’t know how they physically made their bodies position in such a way to get it underneath. Life’s mysteries that will forever go unsolved. LOL
Managers…they are either fine or HORRIBLE. I was a cashier for Staples one summer during my last summer before college graduation year. I had pretty decent managers, except one…Freda. Even that name sends chills down my spine. She was the kind of manager who I quickly discovered what car she droves so I’d know immediately when I drove into the parking lot whether she was there.
I was told she used to be a drill Sargent in the Army before coming to Staples. Whether that rumor was actually true, I’ll never know but I believed it wholeheartedly. She was known to make every employee cry at some point. So I was nervous.
I had one day when all of a sudden 20,000 people decided to check out at the same time and my line was HUGE. Freda was walking by and I called out to her for help. She went to a register, helped the massive line shrink to zero and then afterwards had a “talking to” with me.
She said, “Don’t you EVER ask me to help you like that again.”.
Luckily I didn’t cry but it was a bit traumatizing. Why wouldn’t the manager help? *major side eyes her now*
Have you had gross experiences or terrible bosses? Let me know!
I loved Unclaimed Baggage! I received an advanced copy from Fierce Reads and honestly it was cover-love-at-first-sight. I am a HUGE fan of quirky covers because life needs a little more fun in it. The book did not disappoint! It’s funny, had great characters, and full of heart.
Unclaimed Baggage is about 3 teenagers who get a summer job at a store called Unclaimed Baggage that sells items and suitcases that had been left behind at airports. After the airports have had them for a long time they need to get rid of them and this book was inspired by a store that is actually like this! I would love to go to one.
All 3 of the teens have difficult things going on in their lives and the friendship that these three develop becomes a place of healing for all of them. This book deals with a lot of different subjects like alcoholism, racism, religious hypocrisy but it’s done well and speaks up against those who do wrong.
Unclaimed baggage was such a delight, hilarious and book that touched my heart! I highly recommend buying this one!
About the Book
Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll
September 18th 2018 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Doris–a lone liberal in a conservative small town–has mostly kept to herself since the terrible waterslide incident a few years ago. Nell had to leave behind her best friends, perfect life, and too-good-to-be-true boyfriend in Chicago to move to Alabama. Grant was the star quarterback and epitome of “Mr. Popular” whose drinking problem has all but destroyed his life. What do these three have in common? A summer job working in a store called Unclaimed Baggage cataloging and selling other people’s lost luggage. Together they find that through friendship, they can unpack some of their own emotional baggage and move on into the future.
About the Author
Jen Doll has written for The Atlantic, The Atlantic Wire, Cosmopolitan, The Hairpin, New York magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Toast, Topic, Vice, The Village Voice, and The Week, among others. She grew up in Alabama and lives in Brooklyn and upstate New York.